As the old, classic song goes, the holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year”. However, that won’t be the case if you have fire hazards lurking in your home. Don’t let flames snuff out your holiday spirit. Here are some key fire prevention tips that can ensure you and your loved ones have a fun and festive holiday season.
House Fire Stats
The statistics are eye-opening. There are an average of 358,000 house fires in America every year. Flames leave behind nearly $12 billion in damage. Cooking is the leading cause of house fires, followed by faulty heating equipment and electrical malfunction. Fire departments respond to a fire in the U.S. every 24 seconds.
Fire Prevention Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Administration, more than one-third of home decoration fires are started by burning candles. Half are ignited by decorations placed too close to a heat source. Almost one-third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems. One in every five are sparked by a nearby heat source.
Holiday Decorating Hazards
Many people love to dress up their homes for the holidays. Here are some tips to follow for ultimate safety.
Blow out candles and unplug lights before leaving the home or going to bed. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. Keep lit candles away from anything flammable. Use only indoor string lights inside, and outdoor ones outside. Don’t connect too many light strands together. Read the manufacturer’s instructions. Use clips to hang lights, not nails that can damage cords. Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
Holiday Entertaining Safety
There is nothing worse than having a fire break out in a home full of people. Here’s what you need to know to tame the flames.
Test smoke alarms to make sure they work. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of reach. Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop. Keep children and pets away from lit candles. Ask smokers to go outside. Provide ashtrays for extinguishing cigarettes.
Live Christmas Trees
If you love to pick a fresh tree, here are some fire safety tips to keep in mind. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off. Cut 2 inches off the trunk of the tree before putting it in a stand. Keep the tree at least three feet away from any heat source. Add water to the tree stand and keep filling it daily. Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees can quickly go up in flames.
Only use tree lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Replace any strings with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Fire Escape Plans
Every household needs to have an escape plan in case of fire. Find two ways to get out of every room in case the main entrance is blocked. Make sure the windows and screens can open. Practice getting low and moving to your exits in case of smoke. Pick a safe meeting place outside. Practice your plan at least twice a year.
Fire Damage Costs
The national average cost of fire damage restoration for a house is $12,900. Water damage alone can cost an average of $1,000 to $4,600 to fix. The price tag goes up when you add in smoke and soot damage, and odor removal.
When it comes to water, flood, or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses. We cover Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the unfortunate results. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.